PRECIOUS-Gold prices inch up, head for second weekly gain

    Nov 17 (Reuters) - Gold prices stayed on track for a second
straight weekly gain early on Friday as they crept up on a
weaker dollar, although trading remained in a tight range amid
expectations of a U.S. interest rate hike next month.  
    * Spot gold        had climbed 0.1 percent to $1,279.21 per
ounce by 0104 GMT. It is up about 0.3 percent for the week.  
    * U.S. gold futures         for December delivery edged up
0.1 percent to $1,279.21.
    * The dollar index       , which tracks the U.S. currency
against a basket of six major rivals, slipped 0.2 percent.
    * Republican U.S. lawmakers on Thursday took an important
step toward the biggest tax code overhaul since the 1980s as the
House of Representatives approved a broad package of tax cuts
sought by President Donald Trump.             
    * U.S. industrial production recorded its biggest increase
in six months in October as the drag from hurricane-related
disruptions unwound, but the underlying growth trend in output
at the nation's factories, mines and utility plants remained
    * Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan on
Thursday repeated that he is "very open-minded and actively
thinking about" a possible interest-rate hike at the U.S.
central bank's next policy meeting.             
    * San Francisco Fed President John Williams reiterated his
view on Thursday that the U.S. economy is growing strongly
enough for the Fed to continue raising rates gradually over the
next couple of years to around 2.5 percent.             
    * Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said on Thursday
she feels inflation is poised to pick up, clearing the way for
the Fed to continue its gradual process of raising interest
    * The Bank of England will probably need to raise interest
rates a couple more times over the next few years if Britain's
economy develops as expected, Governor Mark Carney was quoted as
saying on Thursday, echoing guidance the BoE has given
    * Asian shares rose on Friday as strong U.S. earnings and
the step forward in the U.S. Congress on tax reform brightened
the mood, even though investors noted that many more hurdles
must be passed to reach a final deal on tax cuts.
    * U.S. Treasury two-year yields hit a nine-year high on
Thursday as risk appetite recovered globally.      
    0900  Euro zone current account  Sep
    1330  U.S. Housing starts        Oct
    1330  U.S. Building permits      Oct

 (Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph